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Kia whakat?muri te haere whakamua, I walk backward into the future with my eyes fixed on my past. The signing of Treaty of Waitangi was a momentous part of our history. Treaties aid peace, harmony, trade, allegiance, and expansions of kingdoms. They are agreements between two peoples. The Treaty of Waitangi is the most significant treaty in New Zealand. The Treaty is the epicenter of our beginnings of a nation. In 1831, thirteen chiefs petitioned King William IV. The chiefs requested protection from the Anarchy caused by British subjects. The King responded by appointing James Busby British resident. Masses of Toi t? te kupu, toi t? te mana, toi t? te Whenua. Hold fast to M?ori culture, for without language, without mana, and without land, the essence of M?ori is lost. Modern New Zealand is a multicultural nation, made up of many ethnicity and religion. New Zealand prides itself on it’s hospitable to all races and religions. The New Zealand appreciated today is the result of applying the principles of the Treaty. The New Zealand courts and Waitangi interpreted the Treaty to provide the same human rights as the Universal Declaration. The Treaty is essential in maintaining the rights of all citizens. Modern New Zealand is a stark contrast of its juvenile beginnings. Before the signing of the Treaty, humanitarians wanted to protect Maori from effects of European colonization . Despite their best efforts, the Treaty gathered dust and disregarded. The quality of life for Maori diminished. In fact the cultural damage suffered by Maori sill endures today. The Treaty is fundamental to ensuring history does not repeat itself. Citizens have the right to learn and speak any language. Immigrating to a new country can be exotic already. Imagine losing the right converse with family in native tongue. Maori language became prohibited from use in schools and public. Researchers started noticing a large language declined. The Aboriginal of Australia experienced the same injustice. According to Korff “Many Aboriginal languages are lost because up until the 1970s government policies banned and discouraged Aboriginal people from speaking their languages” (2015). Language is important to indigenous cultures as much history is spoken. Maori language is now an official language of New Zealand. The Treaty of Waitangi aided in establishing means to protect and preserve Maori language. The treaty also protects the rights of all immigrant’s native language thus ensuring the cultural diversity of the nation. Equally important is the right of religious freedom. Religious freedom is rare in many parts of the world. New Zealand caters to many faiths. Citizens are allowed a place of worship and the rights to practice. At the signing of the Treaty Catholic Bishop asked if “the several faiths of England, of the Wesleyans, of Rome, and also Maori custom shall alike be protected” (statement on religious diversity, 2017). Governor Hobson confirmed his query. Today this translates to include all faiths and acknowledges the diversity of New Zealand. The Treaty enforces many human rights. There are many examples of breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi that impeded on basic human rights. The Treaty acts as a pou tokomanawa in the sense it supports all citizens rights.

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